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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   79

order to obtain a ranch-bred litter, it would be advisable to cut off the canine teeth of the male. This can be done with an apple stemmer, dentist's forceps, or even an ordinary pair of pincers. The litter of ranch-bred marten, if removed from the mother when about two months old, will be much tamer. The marten was domesticated by the ancient Romans and used for the same purposes as a ferret.

Mating takes place in January or February. The period of gestation is a little more than three months. The young are seen outside the nest when about eight weeks of age. They are full grown at six months and breed when a year old. The number of young in a litter ranges from one to five.

Directions for feeding are the same as for the mink. One meal a day is sufficient for either in order to keep them in good breeding condition.

Marten should be transported in metal-lined boxes, because they will eat their way through a sound inch board. If the Hudson Bay marten can be bred as a domestic animal, there will be no difficulty in finding a market for the skins. At the present time, Asia produces 75,000 sable skins annually, and North American 120,000. The experience of rearing the Hudson Bay marten would probably lead to the domestication of the Siberian marten or Russian sable, which is a smaller animal, but whose fur is much more valuable. As the fur would be more generally favoured and fashionable, besides being more durable, there can be no doubt that the total trade possible in marten skins would be as great as in all kinds of fox skins combined.

FISHER, PEKAN, OR PENNANT MARTEN
(Mustella Pennanti)

Only two ranches were found in which the fisher, or pekan, or Pennant marten, was kept. The experiments at one of these appeared to be quite successful as far as conducted, the animals being quite tract-able and in good condition. The owners are confident of final success, but no young have yet been produced.

The fisher is about two feet long and has a large bushy tail. At first sight, it resembles a black cat, and hence has received that name locally. It is the swiftest and fiercest of the weasel family and can catch a marten in an open chase, jumping from limbs even 30 or 40 feet high to the ground. When it is known that the marten can catch the squirrel, the significance of this feat can be appreciated.

Ranching methods should be the same as for marten, but on a scale of twice the dimensions. Mating takes place about March 1. Young, numbering from one to five, are born about May 1. It is believed by


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